Research briefs

SKIN THERMOMETRES REDUCE DIABETIC ULCER RISK

Infrared skin thermometers could help prevent diabetic foot ulcers, say US researchers. They are used to check for temperature differences between the left and right foot. The study involved 173 patients with a history of diabetic foot ulceration who were assigned to use skin thermometers, structured foot examinations or standard care. Over 15 months' follow-up, 8.5 per cent of patients using thermometers developed ulcers, compared with 30.4 per cent in the structured foot examination group and 29.3 per cent given standard therapy (Diabetes Care 2007;  30: 14-20).

COLON CANCER LINKED TO FAT HORMONE 

The fat hormone leptin may boost growth of colonic cancers, explaining why obese people are at increased risk of colon cancer, claim US researchers. Three different cell lines of human colon cancer were treated with leptin. In all, leptin stimulated proliferation and reduced the number of apoptotic cells in a dose-dependent manner. However, blocking the cell signallers mitogen-activating protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase stopped this effect (BJS Online 2007).

DAILY ASPIRIN CAN MINIMISE ADULT ASTHMA

Taking low-dose aspirin daily can lower the risk of adult-onset asthma, suggests US research. The placebo-controlled study involved 22,071 male doctors, aged 40-84 years, who were followed up for 4.9 years. Among individuals who took aspirin, 113 new cases of asthma were diagnosed, compared with 145 in the placebo group. Aspirin reduced the risk by 22 per cent (Am J of Respir Crit Care Med Online 2007).A positive treatment for SAD sufferers

A POSITIVE TREATMENT FOR SAD SUFFERERS 

A stimulator that emits negatively charged oxygen particles to mimic dawn could be an effective treatment for sufferers of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), according to US research. The study involved 99 patients with SAD who were assigned to receive high-density negative ion therapy during the final hours of sleep or light simulation techniques. Over three weeks, symptoms were assessed using the Hamilton Depression rating. It showed that 48 per cent of those treated with negative ion therapy found an improvement in their condition (Am J Psychiatry Online 2007).

 

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